Let’s face it – Getting to the top of the search engine rankings has gotten difficult. Between increased competition with SEO becoming a household term, a revised search engine results page that puts more weight on local results, and the use of multiple devices, website owners and even SEO professionals have struggled to figure out how to break thru the clutter. You’ll read about a lot of fancy things – LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing), NLP (Natural Language Processing), and a whole slew of other acronyms that can drive anyone crazy. These advanced techniques are worth looking at and mastering, but what we’ve found with our full portfolio of clients is that the basics, unsexy as they are, still work, and are often overlooked. The three tactics below may seem overly simplistic, but they’re important – And when applied thoughtfully, can really catapult your website’s rankings in the search results:
We all think we know what keyword phrases are relevant to our business. And yes, tribal knowledge of the industry is important – But at the end of the day, it’s important to be found for keyword phrases that people are actually looking for. I always recommend looking at tools like Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to actually figure out what words your potential customers are using. Sometimes the results can be surprising – But it’s important to get this right. After all, what good is getting a ranking for a term that nobody uses?
For years, SEO was always about keyword density and keyword proximity – The thought process being that by simply repeating a word multiple times, Google, Bing, and Yahoo would think that your page is super relevant. Guess what? The search engines have gotten smart. Circa 2018, keyword density just flat out doesn’t work, and trying to logjam In repetitive phrases into your content will be fruitless. Write content that is zoned into a specific theme, and organize your site thematically – And just write in plain English! You’ll naturally be using keyword phrases, and Google and other search engines will make the association about what your page is focusing on. Beyond the SEO benefit, however, remember that people buy things from people – Not from websites. So by writing for the customer, you’ll inherently be taking steps to improve your conversion rate, too.
Nobody likes stale content – Search engines included. While there’s no hard and fast rule as to how often you need to be adding new content to your website, weekly is a good place to start. Don’t add content just for the sake of adding content though – Write about things that legitimately add value for your audience. It can be a perspective, a review of a new product, a quick thought on industry trends, or anything – It’s up to you. The important thing is that it’s unique and original, and targeted to a specific topic.
So before you drive yourself crazy diving into title tag proximity and character counts, take a step back and think about the basics – Make sure you’ve got them nailed. When you do, your rankings will start to follow!